German far-right rules digital campaign for Europe election

In Germany, the far-right AfD party is dominating the social media campaigns ahead of the European elections

ByThe Associated Press
May 18, 2019, 2:36 AM
In this Friday, May 17, 2019 photo an AfD poster (top right) hangs on a street light during the street Europe and communal election campaigning of the far-right Alternative for Germany AfD in Gera, Germany. In Germany, the far-right AfD party is domi
In this Friday, May 17, 2019 photo an AfD poster (top right) hangs on a street light during the street Europe and communal election campaigning of the far-right Alternative for Germany AfD in Gera, Germany. In Germany, the far-right AfD party is dominating the social media campaigns ahead of the European elections with attacks on the political establishment and fearmongering of migrants and Islam. The question is if their skilled digital campaigns will translate into a political success when Germany’s voters cast their ballot on May 26. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
The Associated Press

BERLIN -- Polls put the far-right Alternative for Germany at less than 15 percent of the vote one week before European elections, but with their relentless Facebook messages, tweets and other social media posts, they're dominating the other parties online.

Like other right-wing parties in Europe, the party known as AfD is taking a page out of U.S. President Donald Trump's playbook, skirting a traditional media campaign to focus on a provocative social media effort that has prompted more shares and chatter than anyone else. The key question, though, is whether it can turn the internet buzz into actual votes.

The most successful posts seem to take a kernel of real news and then exaggerate it to raise online indignance and promote the conservative nationalist platform.

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